Automen call off today's strike, will not hike fares from Friday
Commuters have been spared a harrowing commute on Thursday as the Mumbai Autorickshaw Union has withdrawn its strike call after meeting with transport authorities on Wednesday noon.mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2012 02:19 IST
Commuters have been spared a harrowing commute on Thursday as the Mumbai Autorickshaw Union has withdrawn its strike call after meeting with transport authorities on Wednesday noon.
The union has also rescinded its threat to start charging higher fares from Friday.
After an hour-long meeting with transport commissioner VN More, the joint-action forum of auto unions in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) led by union leader Sharad Rao announced withdrawal of the agitation.
"Our proposed agitation stands withdrawn as the transport department assured us of speedy implementation of Hakim panel's recommendation after deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar's intervention," Rao said.
"The main demand of auto unions was immediate implementation of Hakim panel report's recommendations, on which we have assured them to expedite the procedure," said More.
He added that the union had some misconception based on news reports published in some sections of the media, which they clarified in the meeting and they have also given us a written assurance about the withdrawal of their agitation.
The forum had threatened to protest outside regional transport offices in MMR, as well as outside the transport commissioner office in Bandra. The transport authorities were suspecting that three lakh autorickshaws may go off the streets on Thursday.
The authorities had begun preparations to avoid inconvenience to commuters in case the agitation went ahead.
"We had an action plan ready, in which we had planned to arrange extra BEST as well as private buses, apart from allowing private vehicles to ferry passengers," told a senior transport depart official.
He added that they had also planned their course of action if the unions had started overcharging commuters.
During the meeting, auto unions also put some demands like release of two lakh auto rickshaw permits, formation of a special squad for action against 25,000 illegal autos.
"Our demand of giving fare hike to autos running on CNG and petrol was also agreed to," Rao said.